April 2011

‘I know the Highway Code you know”

Wet?

I am.

And there is currently a hosepipe ban across most of the country (I assume this isn’t the right type of rain!)

Anyway, been a very busy month for me with Special Escort Group training in preperation for the upcoming Olympic games and juggling general Police duties on top.

Take care on the roads out there as this torrential rainfall is opening up some nasty potholes and you may find the puddle you’re about to ride through a bit deeper than you realised…

I’ve been noticing a worrying trend amongst a minority of non engined two wheel transport users (i.e cycles) recently, so much so that i’ve gone above and beyond the ‘educating’ route to straight forward enforcement.

Whilst held stationary at a set of lights in Windsor and leaving enough room at the STOP line to accomodate the cycle area at the front I was dismayed to watch a man cycle at quite some speed straight through the red light and turn left at a very busy junction, I have no doubt with the limited view on offer if a vehicle had been coming from his right they would have had a coming together and I shudder at the outcome.

After a swift word about the legalities of a traffic light controlled junction he was advised about the possible consequences of doing this again.

The next night, passed a cyclist on the A4 in Slough and as I stopped for the red light the cyclist rode straight on through causing another vehicle to stop to allow him passage.

On stopping the cyclist and having pointed out the error of his ways his reply? “I’m on a bike , it doesn’t mean I have to stop just cars”

A £30 fine five minutes later I can assure you he will remember to stop in future.

Cyclists DO have to adhere to red traffic lights and are fooling themselves if they think different, just like motorcyclists they are a vulnerable road user and have enough ‘enemies’ and dangers out in the world of the road without making themselves a target and putting themselves on ‘offer’ so readily.

Along with my team from Taplow (C shift) we decided to target a known part of the A4 in Slough which was a known ‘blackspot’ and recognised casualty site, one of the main complaints and causes was our old friend, speed.

We decided to spend three shifts at the A4 junction with Ledgers Road which is a 30mph speed limit.

Sadly, the following proves why we have to conduct speed enforcement checks.

In those three days we stopped nearly 70 motorists for speeding, the highest being 67mph.

This section of road is clearly a 30mph speed limit, the presence of street lamps, the numerous large 30mph speed limits AND the Council have gone to the bother of putting up signs saying 30mph and ‘Lamposts mean 30mph’ as well, yet still drivers and riders are ignoring it.

One particular driver I stopped was doing 42mph and when I asked him what he thought the speed limit was he said ’50’.

I then explained the various signs that explained the speed limit to which he replied “I know the highway code, I read it last night and those signs are wrong, there are two lanes here which means I can do 50mph’

I continued ” Which part of the Highway code states a two laned road is subject to 50mph?’

The gentleman replied “Speed limits on two laned roads’

I finally said, “Ok, seeing as you are very confident of this I have no option but to report you for the offence’

‘What does that mean?’ replied the gentleman.

‘It means we go to Court, I explain what I saw you do and why I reported you and you explain what you did and why you did it to a Magistrate and then the Magistrate makes his mind up’

The gentleman replied ‘Um, I think my copy of the Highway Code may be somewhat out of date and you might be right about it being 30mph, can I have a ticket instead?’

After further discussion I offered him a speed awareness course for which he seemed immensely plaesed about, so much so that on leaving he said to me “Sorry for mucking you about but you gotta try haven’t you!’

Anyway, I’ll sign off for now…

Keep it safe out there and for those with any direct queries please feel free to Email at

derek.ingram@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Check out the main site as well for ‘BIKESAFE’ which is hotting up now, reserve your place!

Keep it on the black stuff and sunny side up,

 

Del

X